Chef Mary-Ellen McTague

Mary-Ellen McTague to take on robot chef at Robots: Late

Award-winning chef Mary-Ellen McTague is to pit her cooking skills against a robot at this year’s Manchester Science Festival.

And the former Great British Menu judge has admitted that she is nervous about being “rendered obsolete” by her robot counterpart.

Mary-Ellen will be going head-to-head with Foxdog Studios’ robot chef at the Robots Late event at the Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday, 25 October.

Along with finding out if our tops chefs can be recreated in mechanical form, the event will ask “are sausages best served from a cannon?” and “does it matter if an electromagnet touches your beans?”.

Mary-Ellen, the acclaimed human chef behind Aumbry and Manchester Art Gallery’s revamped cafe said: “I am feeling a bit nervous about going up against a robot. What if the robot is better than me? What if it goes into production and I am rendered obsolete? Although, the prospect of an early retirement has its appeal so maybe I’ll let the robot win…”

Festival director Antonio Benitez said: “We’re so pleased that Mary-Ellen has agreed to put her culinary reputation on the line to take on our robot chef – and perhaps this will even lead to Manchester’s first Michelin star!”

The event will also feature a robot barman pulling the perfect pint and a robot dance-off, plus find out where this incredible technology is headed and what this means for the human race.

There will also be the chance to see the blockbuster exhibition Robots, which features more than 100 robots from across the world and investigates humans’ 500-year quest to recreate themselves in mechanical form.

Doors open at 7pm, and the event runs until 10pm. Tickets are free, but advance booking is recommended.

This year’s Manchester Science Festival runs from Thursday, 19 October to Sunday, 29 October and features more than 100 events at venues across Greater Manchester. Other highlights include the immersive spiderweb experience Tape, a robot-themed Tomorrow’s World Live and a host of GameLab events created by the festival’s lead educational sponsor, the University of Salford, held at their MediaCityUK campus.